Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pregnancy, Pregnancy

Another pregnancy post. Not that I even have any news, or stories or anything, but mainly because it's my main topic of thought nowadays. Although the end is in sight; I'm due in three weeks as of today (May 8th). So that's only 21 days. Mmm, it sounds long done that way. And I know that due dates are not absolute at all, but rather the opposite, to the point that the official term is Estimated Due Date. In fact, only 5 % of women even deliver on their due date.

That's fine, that's fine, because maybe I'll go...early! Yeah, that's my latest obsession. How to get this baby to come out early in a completely natural/healthy manner. Of course, some of the things that are supposed to start labor are absolutely unacceptable, like cod liver oil. Yuck. My mom used this to go into labor with my younger brother, and she said (in my memory at least) that it wasn't worth it. Or blue or black cohosh, which sounds like an illegal drug combination, although it isn't.

Mainly I just wish that I'll wake up in the middle of the night and I'll be in labor, and everything will be great. Well, great meaning that I'll be having painful contractions every couple minutes, but I guess you can't have everything. We found out in my midwife appointment this last week that I'm basically going to need antibiotics intravenously during the labor, because I have Group B Strep. It's nothing to worry about on its own; around 25% of women carry it at all times without any symptoms, but it could potential harm and even kill little Elisheva, so they administer antibiotics during labor to prevent this.

Which means that I would now have to have a hospital birth anyway. I'm glad in a way that I medically need one; it makes me feel better about the fact that I was denied a homebirth anyway; kind of like sour grapes I suppose. And according to my midwife (who, by the way, is Irish, and is from Limerick. Isn't that cool?) I won't have to be continuously monitored or hooked up to an IV machine or anything; they can administer the antibiotics in about ten minutes, and they only need to do this every four hours. And even when I am on them, I don't have to lie in bed like a stranded turtle or bug (which is what I feel like flat on my back nowadays).

Which reminds me; I have everything worked out about what to do with Lydia/rides, etc. The very night last Thursday when I found out that I had to go to hospital, I had a baby shower in the ward. Well, I simply brought up the situation, mainly because it was on my mind, and I had two women volunteer to watch Lydia and give me a ride to the hospital. The first one is my Bishop's wife, Sister Yvonne Dick, who is always absolutely beaming, and a lovely woman to be around (and she adores Lydia; she's in nursery with her). And when she comes to get Lydia she's just going to drop Avram and I off at the hospital, so we have everything worked out. And I have two backups, one the second sister to volunteer, and another one the primary president, who has a daughter about Lydia's age in nursery.

We went over to the Dick's house on Sunday for lunch, but also for the main purpose of Sister Dick working with me on "active labour" a term they use in Britain for a method of laboring naturally. Yvonne is a trained doula, plus having had five children, three of them at home, all using this method, so she has a lot of experience with it. Basically it encourages moving throughout labor, even the contractions, in optimal positions so that the uterus can work at its upmost potential. I had Avram come and sit in on this conversation, since he's going to be with me during the labor (he jokes that he's a doulos, the male form of a doula. In modern day usage a doula is someone who accompanies you through labor, and is your labor couch/partner/on your side, etc. In Greek it actually means slave, and so Avram has decided that it's very accurate for him; he gets to be mine and Lydia's slave in life, especially at the end of my pregnancy and delivery).

Yvonne wasn't awkward about anything, so there she is, describing the perineum, and descent of the baby and such while doing hand motions to show what she means, and then she had her and I get on the floor on hands and knees and practice breathing and moving through imaginary contractions, all while Avram was a captive audience. He did say afterwards we looked rather silly, as I suppose any real laboring woman does, but at the time he didn't joke at all, but was just attentive and serious. I think I would have almost been embarrassed (it's the small Victorian in me), except Yvonne made it all so natural, which of course childbirth is. After we had finished the active part of the training, the Bishop joined us too, and we discussed child-birthing for a bit; a somewhat different role than I'm used to seeing him in, but I think it's good to remember and see that ones priesthood leaders are dynamic people with full and well-rounded lives, and not just two-dimensional cutouts on a stand.

In the hopes that I'll go into labor soon (one reason I'm so focused on this now, is that at 37 weeks I'm now considered full term, and so if I did go into labor they wouldn't try to stop it, and also the baby should have fully developed lungs, and so wouldn't need any help breathing and such), I've packed Lydia's bag, and as much as my hospital bag as I can right now. They want you to bring everything for the birth yourself here, from Diapers for the new baby to your own bath towel for showers/baths after she's born. When I had Lydia in America, I don't think I brought anything; I even had to have my Mom fetch clothing to bring me home in. Not only that, but they gave us two diaper bags (made from two big formula makers trying to convince you from the very beginning to use them), diapers, a onesie that said, "I was born in the Mt. Timpanogos Hospital," a thermometer that we've used up until coming to England, lanolin to prevent soreness from nursing, a small plastic bathing tub thingy, and a neat-o baby sponge, not to mention a ton of samples of wipes, lotion, soap, etc.

I guess that's the difference between socialized medicine and not. Also, just because the hospital gives it to you, doesn't mean it comes free. It probably shows up on the hospital bill as: one neat-o sponge, $20, or something like that.

Also, in another unrelated pregnancy/birth thought, I think I want Elisheva to come now because I'm worried about "what-ifs," which are never helpful to think of, so the sooner I have her, the less I'll think of them. There are so many things that can go wrong with a birth, to the point that I wish I had never looked into any of them. A baby can be perfectly healthy inside the womb, and would also be perfectly healthy outside of it, but birth itself is such a liminal time, full of excitement, but also full of danger. I just hope that I'm too distracted by the process itself to be thinking these thoughts while I'm actually in labor.


  1. Perilous times. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. In my experience you don't think of much of anything while you are in labour. Of course, this baby may be different.

    All things in the Lord's good time, lady.

    Love you much.

  3. i liked reading about your pregnancy thoughts.. maybe since i am pregnant too!! lol. Try not to think or worry too much. There is little one can do if something goes wrong anyways, and the lord has the final say anyways. Of course i know i will be a mess at the end too... so i am not good at following my own advice! Oh and with theo i had to have the antibiotics for the group b strep. its no big deal, so no worries!

    cant wait to be reading your whole birth story on here!

    love you!

  4. I guess I'm special: I'm one of 5% who was born on my due date. How exciting. I think Matthew may have been late??

    But of course, she will be early. :)

  5. I've got three words for you dear cousin: evening primrose oil. E-mail me if you have any questions about it.

  6. hey, a lady in our ward had her baby last week, and she was due May 8th!
    It could happen!